I Love You, Always Forever: Make Up For Ever Products Review

Every once in a while, I develop a makeup crush. The new object of my affection is the entire brand, Make Up For Ever. I’ve been using a few of their products for a while, but I’ve gotten more lately and I am in love. Here’s what I have:

5 Camouflage Cream Palette: This was my first Make Up Forever purchase.  I bought it in No. 1 because I wanted the green color corrector. I scraped that one and the peach (Golden Beige 15) completely to the bottom of the pan.  More about those below. The skintone concealers are fabulous too–very creamy and they provide great coverage.  They also do a great job of staying on the skin.  I find that all of the camouflage concealers work best when I dab them on my hand first to let my body heat melt them down (sounds weird, but it works) then I apply with either a brush or my fingertips.

Camouflage Cream in Golden Beige 15: This is actually a peach concealer and it works wonders on dark undereye circles. Because it is a thick product and the thin, slightly bumpy skin under the eyes really shows caked-on makeup, I apply a little moisturizer under the eye first. Then I do the warm-the-product-on-my-hand trick, apply it to the area with a concealer brush and blend with a fluffy eyeshadow brush. The first time I ever used this on a client, the response was great. “Wow! What is this stuff? It’s amazing!” Yes, it is that good.

Camouflage Cream in Green 17: This is the product in my kit that scares people the most. It’s not tinted green, or green-ish brown–it is straight up green.  Many people have said to me “You’re going to put that on my face?” (but my favorite was the actor who said “Cool! Can you do the Celtics mascot on my face?”). I always tell clients how green products cancel out redness and will be blended in and covered with foundation before they can say “shamrock.”  This product is excellent for covering rosacea, as well as the slight redness many people have around their nose and/or chin. The Camouflage Concealer in Green 17 is absolutely a kit essential for me.  I’d be lost without it.

HD Invisible Cover Foundation: Hallelujah! Whoever created this foundation deserves some kind of award.  It goes on smoothly, gives great coverage, feels like nothing, lasts all day and comes in a variety of colors.  It is a medium coverage foundation, which I like, but it might look a little strange to you at first if you’re used to a more sheer foundation or a tinted moisturizer.  Not strange in a bad way, but if you’re used to seeing your freckles or color variations on your face, you’re going to be surprised.  I have freckles and while it doesn’t completely cover them, it definitely hides them a lot more than lighter foundations. On some people, it can look the tiniest bit cakey right after you apply it, but after a couple minutes it completely settles into the skin.  I promise. If you can’t tolerate those few minutes, simply apply a moisturizer to your face first using a foundation brush, then use that same brush to apply the foundation. The moisturizer left on brush will thin out the foundation a little. Or, if you’re a I-use-my-hands-to-apply-foundation person, simply add in a tiny drop of moisturizer to the foundation. This foundation is made for high definition television, so it gives a gorgeous, flawless finish. It also photographs beautifully.

Smoky Lash Mascara: You can love different products in different ways, right? Because I love Diorshow with a passion…but I love Smoky Lash just as much. I love them both, but for different reasons. Diorshow is a great every day mascara. It gives length, volume, and a smooth, never clumpy finish.  This is my mascara of choice for any polished look. Smoky Lash is like the badass sister of Diorshow.  They are both excellent at what they do, but their personalities are different. Smoky Lash is more intense, thicker, and more obvious than Diorshow.  I don’t want to say it’s clumpy, but it’s got a little texture to it.  I especially love it for layering on top of my Diorshow bottom lashes.  I like thick, not long, bottom lashes, and this does the trick.  I’m pretty obsessed with this one.

Aqua Eyes Eyeliners: I want to give the disclaimer that I tried these liners when they first came out and they may have been re-formulated since then.  First, the good. I love the color payoff of these pencil liners. My favorite is the Turquoise 7L, which shows up on the skin as vibrant as it looks. These pencil liners are waterproof and they certainly do stay on. I don’t think they show up or stay on the waterline very well, but I’ve heard other people say they are great on the waterline, which is why I think they may have been re-formulated. Because of that, and the fact that I love MUFE, I am going to buy some new ones and  give them another try.

I’m trying out a few other Make Up For Ever products right now, so more reviews are on the way. I’m looking forward to trying more of their products.  They are an awesome brand, and their high quality products are good people, man.

You can find MUFE products at Sephora, and they have stores in LA, New York and Dallas.  If anyone else knows of another place, please let me know.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

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Gotta Keep ‘Em Separated: Sephora Atomic Volume Mascara Review

Super clumpy lashes are not usually a good look. If a bunch of lashes are stuck together, it makes it look like you have less lashes than you already do.  And who wants that?

Always on the hunt for another great mascara, I recently tried Sephora’s Atomic Volume Maximum Volume Mascara. It claims to volumize and lengthen the lashes.  It certainly lengthens them–it’s actually an excellent lengthening mascara–but as for adding volume…not so much. I saw absolutely no increase in volume with this mascara.  The Atomic Volume mascara bombed there.

But we all have our strengths. And while the Atomic Volume mascara may not excel when it comes to fattening up lashes, it is the valedictorian of separating lashes. When I used it, each one of my lashes was perfectly defined.  If you already have full lashes, this is a great product to try. It would probably give you that fan-lash effect.

This mascara did not flake or smudge off, which is important. Sometimes I’ll try a good mascara, but it’s smudged under my eyes or transferred onto the browbones by the end of the day. If I want darkness under my eye, I’ll put it there. I don’t need some rogue mascara doing it for me.

Like the CoverGirl Lashblast, the Atomic Volume mascara has one of those rubbery, spikey wands. This one has a brush on one side, which is supposed to increase volume and a comb on the other side, to lengthen. I think that’s a gimmick, because I didn’t see any difference in application. Also, I really don’t like the applicator.  I always wiggle the wand close to my lash roots to add volume, but I find it uncomfortable to do that with this wand.

If you are one of those people blessed with full lashes and are only looking for length and separation, this is absolutely a good buy. (If you are one of those people, by the way, I’m jealous. )

Hope this was helpful.  If you’ve tried this product, let me know what you think.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

A Lip Color Alternative: CoverGirl Lip Stain Review

Growing up, I (of course) loved playing with makeup. Sometimes I’d put a lipstick on, decide I didn’t like it, then gently blot some off on a paper towel.  Many times, I liked the color that was left better than the original application.  I was making a lip stain and didn’t even know it.  And now they come pre-packaged, no paper towel needed.

I love a berry lip stain with flushed cheeks and just mascara on the eyes. It’s a really pretty look and different from the glossed or nude lips that are so popular. A stain is low maintenance, because it really stains the color on your lips (duh) and doesn’t wear off as quickly as glosses or lipsticks.  Another option is to layer it under a lipstick to both give the lipstick something to anchor to and so there is a layer of color undernearth when the lipstick wears off.  The only downfall is that lip stains are often drying, so if your lips are chapped or cracked, the product is going to grab onto those areas and showcase them.

I recently tried the CoverGirl Lip Stains and they are fabulous. The applicator looks and feels like a felt tip marker and it deposits color when you press down. The color comes out kind of sheer at first, but you can build up to a deep stain. They offer a good color selection, which is key.  A girl’s gotta have choices! They also have a faint fruity scent which I like.

My only issue with this product is that as a makeup artist, it’s hard to use these on other people. With other lip products, I scan scrape, squeeze or swipe them out of their containers, but you can’t really do that with these. I can press down and deposit color on a palette, but it only gives a little at a time.

But for personal use, you can’t really go wrong. I’d say it’s worth it to have one of these in your makeup bag when you feel like doing something different. If it feels too matte on your lips, you can always add gloss or balm.

And at around $10, they won’t break the bank. So give it a try!

Have a beautiful day 🙂

You Little Multi-Tasker, You: Stila One Step Makeup Review

Stila one step makeup, Stila
Many claims, one bottle.

I’m big on multi-tasking.  Unless I’m doing someone’s makeup, reading, or writing, you can bet I’m working on at least two things. So when I heard about the Stila One Step Makeup, I had to give it a try.  It claims to be a primer, foundation, concealer, and powder.  It wouldn’t surprise me if their next version of it includes a makeup artist to apply it for you too. (Stila, I’d be interested in that job.)

I’m going to break it down and tell you how I think it works as each one of those products, then as a whole.

AS A PRIMER:

This was the toughest one for me to judge, because I usually assess a primer by how well the makeup on top of it stays on. The product itself already includes a foundation, concealer, and powder, so I couldn’t go by those.  But I was also wearing bronzer and blush, and they stayed on as well as they usually do when I have a primer on. So yes,  it does do its job in that department.

AS A FOUNDATION:

Ooh, girl, this is some serious coverage. It almost covered up all the freckles on my face and that is not an easy task.  If you’re looking for coverage, Stila One Step Makeup may be your new best friend.

AS A CONCEALER:

A medium to heavy foundation will cover a good amount of blemishes on its own, but with this product, it’s hard to tell if it’s the concealer or foundation covering the blemishes. Either way, it does a good job of it.  I haven’t used it to spot conceal while wearing another foundation, but I think it would work great in that capacity. I found it a little too thick for undereye concealing.

AS A POWDER:

This product definitely gives a powdered finish. That gives it a polished, matte look, but up close, you can definitely see the powder.  If you apply too much, it can get cakey.

Overall, the Stila One Step Makeup is a good product. I think those of you who like a medium to heavy coverage will love this.  Also, anyone with oily skin will probably like this product, as the powder ingredient really mattifies the skin. And it certainly saves you time,  since you don’t have to use four separate products.  If you prefer sheer foundation or your skin is on the dry side, this may not be your jam.

Multi-taskers can’t be 100% perfect, right? At least that’s what I tell myself…

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Movie Makeup

There’s something about being on a film set that energizes me.  Even if it’s a 17 hour day, or my call time is 3:00am, I love it. I’ve been lucky enough to work on a bunch of different films and television movies and I’ve really enjoyed doing each one. I’m constantly impressed by the talent and dedication of the cast and crew. Everyone I’ve worked with has been really good at what they do and I can tell they have a passion for it.

I recently worked on the film I Met You Once, In A Dream. The main characters were an ex-boyfriend and girlfriend.  His makeup was very basic–I just evened his skintone and lightly filled in his eyebrows.  Her makeup was neutral colored eyeshadow, brown shadow liner, peachy pink cheeks, and a lipstick that was close to her natural lip color.  In one scene, she needed a black eye, so I created that with the Mehron bruise wheel (sectioned compact with yellow, red, green, brown, and black cream makeup).

The extras were dressed in futuristic clothing (courtesy of the amazing costume designer, Annika Benitz) and the women had funky, kind of knotted hair styles. The director wanted the extras’ makeup to have a French Revolution feel, so I used super light foundation on everyone.  On the men, I added a thick line of gray black liner at the lower lashline.

I kept the women’s eye makeup very light, with no contour and no filled in brows. I added one coat of mascara to the lashes, and that was it for the eyes.  On the apples of their cheeks and blended up towards the cheekbones, I used a berry gel cheek color.  I also used deep berry toned lipsticks, with no gloss, on their lips.

I Met You Once, In a Dream, was a fun film to work on, and I can’t wait to see the finished product!

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Pin Up Girl Look

There are two looks I absolutely LOVE doing on myself and other people. One is the Smokey Eye, which I will discuss in another post and the other is the Pin Up Girl.

The Pin Up Girl is all about flawless skin, black eyeliner, full lashes and of course, red lips. This is a classic look and a lot of people can pull it off.  I won’t lie–it helps to be wearing the right outfit and hairstyle if you want to rock this look. This is a specific makeup look from a particular era,  so you’ve got to follow through with the whole look, or at least look polished.

Here are the products I most often use for the Pin Up Girl look:

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer

Make Up For Ever Camouflage Cream in Green 17 to cancel out any redness (if needed)

Make Up For Ever HD Foundation

MAC Select Pro Longwear Concealer

Make Up Forever HD Finish powder, buffed all over the face with a buffing brush

Benefit Hoola to contour

MAC Pink Swoon blush on apples of cheeks

Appropriate color brow powder to fill in brows (a must for this look!)

MAC Paint Pot in Painterly as eyeshadow base

On the lids, MAC Blanc Type eyeshadow

In the crease, MAC eyeshadow in Wedge. I also apply a thin line of it at the lower lashline.

MAC Fascinating Eye Kohl (white liner) in the bottom waterline

MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack gel liner to create the perfect winged liner

Dior Diorshow mascara, concentrated outer corner of top lashes

Ardell false lashes, usually flares, on outer two thirds of top lashes

L’Oreal Colour Riche Lipliner in Always Red to line and line fill in lips

MAC Russian Red, Ruby Woo or NARS Jungle Red lipstick

I often draw in a mole with a dark brown or black eye pencil

I’ve included a picture of  Pin Up Girl look I did for a photoshoot.

Hope this post was helpful!

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Photography:  Robert Hare Photography

Makeup:  Allison Barbera

Hair:  Luis Feliciano & Stamatia Anthanasiou

Model: Kirsten Glavin


Pleasantly Surprised: CoverGirl Lashblast Fusion Mascara Review

CoverGirl, lengthening mascara, drugstore mascara

I’m a Diorshow girl–I think I’ve made that clear. I’ve yet to find any better (non-waterproof) mascara. But that doesn’t mean I don’t try out other mascaras.  I don’t think I’d be doing my job as a makeup artist if I didn’t try new products.

I recently tried the CoverGirl Lashblast Fusion in Very Black. It claims to  lengthen, separate, and volumize the lashes, without smudging or smearing.

Before I tell you what I thought of this product, I have a confession to make. I’ve become somewhat of a makeup snob in the last few years.  I used to buy all of my makeup from drugstores–until I discovered lines like MAC, NARS, Laura Mercier and Make Up For Ever.  I found that in general, the more expensive brands are more expensive for a reason–they’re better.

But I’ve tried a lot of CoverGirl products lately and I must say, I’m impressed. The Lashblast Fusion mascara is a solid lengthening mascara. I don’t think it does much in terms of volumizing, but it absolutely lengthens.  I haven’t noticed any smudging or flaking, even in humid weather. And true to its claim, it separates the lashes. (It doesn’t separate perfectly like in the ads you might see for mascara–those are fakes lashes and/or Photoshopped–but it does a good job of that.)

What I don’t care for is the mascara wand. It’s a rubbery, spiky looking wand  and I don’t like the way it feels.  This doesn’t affect when I use the product on clients, since I only ever use disposable wands on them, but I don’t like the way it feels when I use it on my own lashes (obviously I have one tube for clients and one for my personal kit). That may just be a preference thing though.  I don’t consider it a dealbreaker, like the spiky ball applicator in the Givenchy Phenomen’eyes mascara.

So all in all, this is a solid lengthening mascara at a great drugstore price.  Nice work, CoverGirl!

Have a beautiful day 🙂